Health Supplements: West Virginia University Study Shows That Glucosamine-Chondroitin Supplements Reduces Overall Mortality Similar To Exercise
: Researchers from West Virginia University in a new epidemiological study have found that glucosamine/chondroitin supplements may reduce overall mortality about as well as regular exercise does.
Previous studies in the United Kingdom or a single US state have demonstrated an association between intake of glucosamine/chondroitin and mortality. This study sought to investigate the association between regular consumption of glucosamine/chondroitin and overall and cardiovascular (CVD) mortality in a national sample of US adults.
Combined data from 16,686 participants in National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999 to 2010, merged with the 2015 Public-use Linked Mortality File were used for the study. Cox proportional hazards models were conducted for both CVD and all-cause mortality.
n the study sample, there were 658 (3.94%) participants who had been taking glucosamine/chondroitin for a year or longer. During follow-up (median, 107 months), there were 3366 total deaths (20.17%); 674 (20.02%) were due to CVD. Respondents taking glucosamine/chondroitin were less likely to have CVD mortality (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.51; 95% CI, 0.28-0.92). After controlling for age, use was associated with a 39% reduction in all-cause (HR = 0.61; 95% CI, 0.49–0.77) and 65% reduction (HR = 0.35; 95% CI, 0.20–0.61) in CVD mortality. Multivariable-adjusted HR showed that the association was maintained after adjustment for age, sex, race, education, smoking status, and physical activity (all-cause mortality, HR = 0.73; 95% CI, 0.57–0.93; CVD mortality, HR = 0.42; 95% CI, 0.23–0.75).
The study findings showed that
regular intake of glucosamine/chondroitin is associated with lower all-cause and CVD mortality in a national US cohort and the findings are consistent with previous studies in other populations. The study team said that prospective studies to confirm the link may be warranted.
The research findings were published in the peer reviewed Journal of The American Board of Family Medicine. https://www.jabfm.org/content/33/6/842
Dr Dana King, Study Lead, Professor, and Chair, Department of Family Medicine, West Virginia University told Thailand Medical News, “Does this mean that if you get off work at five o'clock one day, you should just skip the gym, take a glucosamine pill and go home instead?. That's not what we suggest. Keep exercising, but the thought that taking a pill would also be beneficial is intriguing
Dr King and his research partner, Jun Xiang a health data analyst at West Virginia University assessed data from 16,686 adults who completed the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2010. All of the participants were at least 40 years old. King and Xiang merged these data with 2015 mortality figures.
Upon controlling for various factors such as participants' age, sex, smoking status and activity level the study team found that taking glucosamine/chondroitin every day for a year or longer was associated with a 39 percent reduction in all-cause mortality.
The regular consumption of glucosamine/chondroitin supplements was also linked to a 65 percent reduction in cardiovascular-related deaths
Interestingly that's a category that includes deaths from stroke, coronary artery disease and heart disease, the United States' biggest killer.
In a UK study, researchers used the UK Biobank to analyze mortality in regular users of glucosamine and found after adjustment a significantly lower risk of total cardiovascular (CVD) events (HR = 0.85; 95% CI, 0.80–0.90), CVD death (HR = 0.78; 95% CI, 0.70–0.87), coronary heart disease (HR = 0.82; 95% CI, 0.76–0.88), and stroke (HR = 0.91; 95% CI, 0.83–1.00). The other study by Bell and colleagues7 investigated mortality in 77,510 residents of Washington State aged 50 to 76 years from 2000 to 2008 and also found lower likelihood of morality after adjustment for possible confounders; glucosamine (with or without chondroitin) had an HR of 0.82 (95% CI, 0.75–0.90,) and chondroitin had an HR of 0.86 (95% CI, 0.78–0.96). https://www.bmj.com/content/365/bmj.l1628.abstract
Inflammation and cytokine effects have been suggested as one of the possible mechanisms for the effects of glucosamine and chondroitin on mortality. In a double-blind randomized, crossover study in adult men and women, another group of researchers found that serum C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations were 23% lower after glucosamine and chondroitin compared with placebo (P = .048). In the proteomics analyses in the same study, several pathways were significantly different between the interventions after Bonferroni correction, the most significant being a reduction in the “cytokine activity” pathway. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0117534
Other investigations have found an association between suppression of certain phosphorylation pathways and the anticancer effect of glucosamine. https://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/mmr.2017.6976
Still other studies have found that glucosamine can reduce kidney injury in rats through attenuation of oxidative stress. Glucosamine has also been found to influence Low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) size and binding capacity in a study of aortic smooth muscle, a mechanism that could potentially reduce the development of atherosclerosis and subsequent cardiovascular disease. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28017896/
Dr King stressed, "Once we took everything into account, the impact was pretty significant."
Dr King himself takes glucosamine/chondroitin, one of the most common formulations of glucosamine supplements.
He said, "I'm in a local cyclists' club, and we go for rides on weekends. One day I asked the other cyclists if they took glucosamine, and everyone did. And I thought, 'Well, I wonder if this is really helpful?' That's how I got curious about it."
Dr King explains that because this is an epidemiological study rather than a clinical trial, it doesn't offer definitive proof that glucosamine/chondroitin makes death less likely. But he does call the results "encouraging."
Dr King added, "In my view, it's important that people know about this, so they can discuss the findings with their doctor and make an informed choice. Glucosamine is over the counter, so it is readily available."
For the latest on Health Supplements
, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.